Notes on Sewell, T. (1997). Black Masculinities and Schooling. How Black boys survive modern schooling. London. Trentham books.

Dave Harris


Why do Black boys experience disproportionate punishment and at the same time appear as heroes of popular youth subculture, sexy and sexually threatening — 'masculinities'. Lots of teachers believe in the myth that African Caribbean boys are 'a more serious threat to society' (ix). Peergroup culture has both positive and negative force, it is a burdensome representation centred on the body and it becomes anti-school. It has a wider context.

Teacher racism is 'simplistic' and there is instead a 'complex interplay of racism, subcultural perspectives and schooling', a messy reality affecting the reproduction of racism. Masculinity needs to be discussed.

Conflict with schooling dates from the 1970s. There is the Coard study, the Swann Report emphasising cultural deficit, and subsequent mugging scares. The total range of Black male experience has not been studied so well, until some early ethnographic studies, summarising from his own experience in teaching which revealed a connection between race masculinity and schooling. The school can act as 'an agency for racialised/sexual oppression' and this can be aided by peergroup cultures. However African Caribbean boys can choose different responses and survive in different ways.

He uses Foucault to consider sexuality as a matter of identity and as a key site of regulation. There are links with racism and a notion of identity that rejects essentialism or objectivism. There are multiple social identities that are often the subject of struggle [Hall is cited here]. Racism also 'must be defined within particular historical and social contexts', including new forms (xiii). It intersects. It is not necessarily always the most important characteristic.

Fanon and cultural racism is the most important in Britain in the mid-1990s, where one nation Toryism faces threats from Black communities and from a united Europe. For Les Back, culture took over from skin colour as of feature of British identity, Englishness, the English way of life, leading defence and the enemies outside, which might include Europeans and foreign enemies, and the enemies inside which might include Black communities and Muslim fundamentalists. This particular form of nationalism is important. So is the regulation of the sexuality of Black men and fears about their hypersexuality.

African Caribbean students are 'consistently overrepresented in exclusion data' [and some are quoted,p xiv], including in the school he studied in this book. By contrast, African Caribbean boys also had good attendance records.

He did semistructured interviews and observations, interviews with teachers and students as individuals and groups. He took notes and wrote them up. He did classroom observations to ground student perspectives. He hung around in playgrounds and student common rooms. He tried to get at the student perspective. He realises that his own presences and African Caribbean male has implications. He tried to use 'an emancipatory research method' (xvi), a collaboration which included respondent comment on the analysis and repeat interviews. He tried to maintain critical distance and affinity, the latter by chilling with the students.

He tries to challenge essentialist notions of Black masculinity and see it as fluid, occupying a range — 'conformists, innovators, retreatists, rebels' [shades of Merton] with lots of subcategories.

He did a dry run to expose subculture as a myth and reality and to suggest ways in which teachers were socialised 'to defend their institution even when it operated social injustice' (xvii). Then he charted various responses by students and asked 'to what extent are Black boys paying a high price for dominating popular culture? Do Black boys only provide the fuel for an industry (music, fashion et cetera) that will simply exploit them?' And how does this work with identity formation

Chapter 1 Raising the issues: the case of the John Caxton School

This was a mixed school with a multiracial intake. It was a tryout. There were 30% White 30% African Caribbean and 30% Asian mixed comprehensive two thirds of which were boys located in an area of high unemployment poor housing low income families. African Caribbean boys made 85% of the total exclusions. There is a lot of evidence to conclude that they receive disproportionately larger amounts of control and criticism, and teachers are blamed.

The teachers however denied discrimination, believed in multiculturalism and mixed ability teaching and describe themselves as liberal, although Mac an Ghaill (MAG) had found that liberal teachers also were critical of Afro-Caribbean lack of competitive spirit.. One teacher finally blamed the home, after acknowledging unfair practices in the school – either unstable marriages or strict regimes. Authoritarian teachers shared the same view. One teacher thought other White teachers are being frightened by the large size of Black boys and were '"weak"' — he had high expectations himself, although he also thought that Black boys lacked educational ambition and discipline.  There are also ideal pupils. In one case it is Chinese girls, or Jamaicans who had not been affected by Black British values and were true to the 'Caribbean tradition'.

Both acknowledged the negative effect of schooling and racist perceptions by teachers, but Sewell agreed with Mac an Ghaill that they were 'socialised by the act of teaching to defend the dominant ethos of the school' (3). 'Teachers are so wedded to the function of schooling that they will defend it irrespective of its failings' (4) or were fatalistic. Sewell thinks they were 'socialised into believing that the faults of children can be explained by home and lifestyles' (4), without being overtly racist. Teachers see no connection with 'macro injustice' because schools are somehow exempt.

An analysis of critical incidents reveals the attitudes to African Caribbean lifestyle and culture. One arose when the (head) teacher was reading a Jamaican dialect poem and found that Black students were embarrassed and began to laugh — they did not see it as their culture and he was disappointed. He was a Black teacher himself but was still seen as an authority figure. The students were ignorant of proper Black culture. This teacher was not prepared to allow overt expressions of ethnicity and was equally rejected by the students. Attempts to use elements of student culture only brought about a' counteraction' to subvert authority, for example by introducing a generational divide in Jamaican culture.

Another teacher saw it entirely in terms of adolescent culture, and took a colourblind approach, ignoring disproportionate exclusions. Both had not seen the strategic importance of the boys cultural resistance. There was more control and criticism compare to other ethnic groups and more negative reactions to displays of ethnicity. Sewell got a number of new themes including the importance of teacher socialisation which convinced them that the problems lay in home and culture — their socialisation help them maintain an appearance of being fair and liberal while still maintaining 'an institution which operates against African Caribbean boys (7) [not at all the usual claims associated with Sewell!]. Teachers had difficulty understanding the culture of resistance, even Black ones. They had a tendency to think of problems as administrative ones and try to develop strategies to control ideas and practices, 'de-politicisation and deracialization' (8), but students saw little difference. Racial issues were never addressed.

Black girls had different strategies, but all Black students had to modify their collective culture in some ways. Fuller's (1980) study of Black girls reveals that they can adopt pro-education and anti-school position simultaneously, a pragmatic attitude that does not see much value in White teachers or a White curriculum but sees resistance as too costly, and turned into instrumentalism. Sewell found that some boys also do this, but this still leads to negative attitudes — one tried to rehabilitate himself but this did not work, although he stopped fighting, a matter of 'resistance and accommodation'. This individual did not join the subcultural group and in fact resisted it. He was a conformist and yet still felt as a victim.  Another Black student was unhappy with the lack of Black history in the curriculum and organised a petition about it, but managed to survive excessive criticism from teachers and decided to continue to work hard and 'really try', playing along to keep the teachers and his friends, as a survival strategy. This still makes the school system unjust and it does not mean that all Black students should do this.

Another student was unusual in seeming to be unaffected by pure perceptions. He got top marks but was still excluded and accused of racism because he was joking, using a mock Nigerian accent. This convinced him that exclusions were often trivial, and so were detentions. Teachers were clearly biased in favour of girls amd White kids, but he decided to go for 'subtle adaptation', avoiding trouble. He was the 'most self-conscious' and yet he still got excluded. But he was not discouraged permanently.

Foster (1990) found in another school that students did not perceive racism to be a problem except for three students who spontaneously complained about racism. Foster locates them within a general feeling of alienation rather than specific cases of racism, which raises doubts about 'the right interpretation' (12) and suggests that students might be just 'echoing what many students feel about school irrespective of racism'. However Foster also suggests that African Caribbean boys were more likely to be anti-school and were less likely to be placed in top sets and more likely to be seen as poorly behaved, which might be unrecognised manifestations of racism: Foster tries to explain this in terms of accurate teacher perceptions.

Generally the alienation of Black kids needs explanation, especially how social dimensions get into school and how racism has many manifestations, 'institutional as well as personal, and in the context of school… Woven into notions of class and gender'.

The coping strategies of boys 'can be the same as those girls. But the boys are less successful at making these strategies work' (13), especially in avoiding conflict, even if they showed less explicit resistance.

Fordham (1988) argues that those characteristics needed for success 'contradict an identification and solidarity with Black culture', a tension between making it and becoming raceless, rejecting '"indigenous Black culture"'. It is necessary to hang on, say by using Black English. Others minimise their connections and maximise school culture and thus get more chances of success, they become '"raceless"'. However, individualism means a lack of support from peers and community and the suspicion of having been co-opted.

One student displays an ambivalent relationship. He is proud to be Black and aware of racism, ambivalent about being British, not keen to hang out with troublemaking Black boys, but also took sides when there was a racist incident. This ambitious student wants to be a teacher. Another student is less well balanced and 'openly puts down his own community' (15) and says his mother wanted to avoid too many Black kids at school. He distances himself deliberately from Black peers and has racial stereotypes. At the other end. a student has strong affinities to the Black community and has tried to learn more about Black history. However, he does not mix with rebel kids and tries to work hard, separating home and work.

So, achievement brought a social cost, maybe having to become raceless. This was rewarded by the school and may be necessary more widely. It reinforces the notion that the practices of individuals are responsible for racism and its effects and ignores institutionalised racism. However, racelessness is never completely successful and it might be better to think of race consciousness as a negative factor and how it is maintained by shared values or membership of groups of various kinds.

Progressive teachers do not challenge the institutional context [they are unaware of it], although they may be 'far from racist'. Their complete allegiance to the school means they blame homes and subcultures uncritically and thus become negative influences themselves. They are not totally hostile to subcultures and often try to co-opt the Black one, but often fail to gain legitimacy, because such subcultures are by definition anti-school, and also affected by the media. Gender is important, but there are more shared characteristics than Fuller found, although boys' strategies did not shield them as well. All the boys paid a price, meaning that success was always 'a hazardous and complex process whereby they are in many cases forced to "present" themselves as having rejected their own community and peer group' (17).

There was some diversity among African Caribbean boys, enough to destabilise the usual conceptions of race, class, gender and sexuality. Some boys were ambivalent about their peers and even shared teacher stereotypes, but were also still part of the subculture [typical finding about youth subcultures — no core members]. Their experience of teacher racism varies, and Black teachers are not necessarily better — one Black teacher was even more critical as above, and was given less respect when he read a Jamaican poem. A number of identities were also available — 'Black, Jamaican, Trinidadian, African, Black British, British, et cetera' (18) and these might be held with varying passion. It is necessary if challenging racism to acknowledge this complexity and 'decentring of the racist subject' [both victim and perpetrator]. The dominant perspective so far has been pluralism, that is integrationist.

Swann for example propose to overcome the ignorance of opposing cultures and to develop a kind of cosmopolitan knowledge enabling adequate conversation between the participants [sounds like US pragmatism]. This was 'first an elite one' (19), Eurocentric, unable to grapple with real differences in terms of class race and gender, and deaf to the 'legitimate right of Black boys to develop their own culture'. It also ignores that racism is rational, as in those arguments that link Black immigration with unemployment. It also assumes that racism shares common values which can be used to modify the existing structures, to make them fairer, and otherwise that racism is just prejudice within an agreed ideological framework. It was attacked by among others the McDonald Report (1989) an enquiry into a racist murder which attacked ineffective and divisive antiracist policies in  the school attended by the victim [never heard of it] and mocked '"symbolic antiracism"' (20) that ignored gender and assumed  that racism was only practised by Whites on Blacks. Further, a Runnymede Trust report (1996) 'revealed the Black teachers were perceived as tending to punish Black pupils more frequently and for lesser offences than their White colleagues', which again shows the complexity.

We have to turn to post-modernist theory to grasp this decentring [!]. Cultural homogeneity has been challenged by identity politics where marginal groups assert diverse voices and experiences. The assumption had been that an intrinsic content in any identity 'can be traced to an authentic common origin or structure of experience (Grossberg, 1994)' (21) and this had led to the great collective identities which as Hall (1991 — one of his pieces on new identities. -- he gets into a terrible mess trying to square the circle with Black politics) had argued had assumed the status of singular actors — social class, race, nation, gender and the West. These have not disappeared but they are no longer homogeneous. There is similarly no grand theory which is applicable. We can't just rely on them in cultural studies, but instead should study their articulation with particular events. A new politics of 'difference and representation' (22) emerged, emphasising relations and difference, connection with fragments, articulations, thinking about more than one difference.

Post-modernism rejected 'all essentialist and transcendental conceptions', which was both liberating and paralysing, and had especially concerning implications for the term deconstruction as unending and thus contingent and arbitrary [as even Hall apparently recognised]. We must resist the 'endlessly sliding discursive liberal pluralism' that might result. However positioning must be seen as contingent.
Dominant groups can construct new identities by appealing to common cultural experience [so this smuggled back in Marxism or Foucault]. At the same time challenge to one form of oppression must 'inevitably lead to the reinforcement of another' (23). So Black was important in antiracist struggles but silenced other dimensions like gender and social class [another reference to Hall 1991] leading to a view that all oppressions must be challenged because they all interconnect [a return of liberal pluralism really].

So how to balance the rejection of essentialism and universalism with a commitment to non-oppressive values? Assume multiple identities and yet organise people in a struggle? Hall again recognises multiple positions of marginality and subordination and an ambiguous reality and we must use this to understand Black masculinity [OK but how to organise resistance remains?.

Chapter 2. Teacher attitudes: who's afraid of the big Black boy?

He drew data from the first study and another one, a comprehensive school, all boys, 61 Asians, 63 Africans,140 African Caribbean, 31 mixed race, 127 White, 23 others. It is in one of the richest areas of England surrounded by several good public schools, but it is a 'tough inner-city school' with lots of FSM. None of the boys come from the local catchment area and most have to bus or train from the surrounding inner-city areas which raises 'a parallel with the townships in South Africa' (26) because Black people travel into rich areas — hence his name for the school Township. Few local parents choose it and there are lots of local complaints concerning brawling and vandalism.

It used to recruit working class White kids until the early 1970s and was always a tough school. There is a growing alienation of African Caribbean boys, a pattern of disproportionate exclusion[ NB not always permanent] , placement in lower streams and low expectations. In the early 80s, there was a new interest in antiracist politics after race riots, and the arrival of younger teachers and a new head teacher who  relaxed some of the rules. At the same time, the number of exclusion of African Caribbean boys rose. There was a falling in roll to nearly half. In the most recent phase, a Black headmaster was appointed but the same pattern of exclusions persisted. The subculture of African Caribbean youth also changed and became more oppositional both to White middle-class cultures and also to the parental generation.

The OFSTED report rated the education as barely satisfactory, and the school was near the bottom of the league tables, with achievement well below the national average. OFSTED pointed to high numbers of SEN pupils, poor attendance, low teacher expectations poor reading skills and budget cuts. There was no mention of the subculture of students either Black or White, the reverse of the emphasis made by students. The head blamed '"an overdose of disaffected children"', for example. However, the evidence actually showed that 'in two out of three years African Caribbean pupils got better results than their White counterparts' (29) [average examination results gathered by HMI], despite a disproportionate number who started with lower reading age.

However the number of exclusions 'reveal an intense conflict' (30) — they often 'scored over twice as many as the White boys' there were also discrepancies in after-school destinations, with more going into SE, 41% of White boys went straight into work, but zero African Caribbean boys, although we don't know how many tried.

Teachers could be divided into three categories in terms of their responses to Black subculture — '"supportive", "irritated" and "antagonistic"'. African Caribbean culture needs to be deconstructed, however. In the specific case with the specific boys, it was based on ideas from the Black diaspora, America Jamaica London. It was both reactionary and progressive, and it featured several stages related to capitalist development. Overall it was phallocentric as supported by other studies. Teachers were convinced that this subculture are adversely affected schooling.

The teaching typologies were based on teacher's perception of themselves based on interviews with and observations of the staff. They were ideal types and there is a danger that complexity is overlooked. Some could be placed in more than one category. So we are left with 'broad brush strokes'. He began by getting an impression and then proceeding to a more intensive interrogation of the data, involving triangulation and coding. He compared it to other studies like Mac an Ghaill on teachers, who found 'professionals, old collectivists and new entrepreneurs' (32) Sewell wanted to include emotional responses and to focus on survival strategies and how teachers understood and could articulate their own understandings, as do pupils, as active subjects. Mac an Ghaill himself says that his categories were not always fixed. Sewell found that 88% of teachers straddled his categories. In particular the marketplace had changed things and had brought new emphasis on accountability and quantifying achievement. Moore was involved than just applying traditional or liberal stances it was no more about 'the deconstruction of "self" '(33), and teachers questioning themselves about their own identity.

African Caribbean kids made more demands on them and this can be seen in the interactions teachers had with them, especially in terms of 'music, hair, dress and attitudes'. First he divided the teachers in terms of initial categories as above.

He thought 10% of teachers could be supportive and wanted to be a mentor for  African Caribbean boys, enhancing their cultural expression, say through the school basketball team. They claim to have informed discussions, even White ones, and supported boys perspectives in staff meetings, claiming to explain why they were late, for  example. One got on well with a particular group and claim to have a decent relationship with the leader. Others claimed to get on well with students with a bad reputation. They often had good classroom management skills and criticised excessive exclusions. There are aware of teacher racism, sometimes outraged. They saw empathy as the crucial thing.

Those in the irritated category were the majority, 60% of the staff. They blamed students and school falling standards and were antagonistic to some Black cultural expressions. They embraced assimilationism and denied teacher racism. Discipline was the main problem and the way Black boys challenged authority. Bad practice had led to a lapse of discipline. They had a variety of political convictions, but wanted to survive against hostile children and a weak support structure. They also disapproved of sexism.

The antagonistic teachers made up 30%.. Some were overtly racist and saw cultural displays of Black boys as 'a negative essentialist characteristic of all African Caribbean people' (37), for example saying that Black kids were more aggressive if they miss their food. Others identified particular characteristics which threatened the authority of the school.

Some researchers see schools as total institutions and stress the conflict model of teaching. Corrigan is one who sees schools imposing on children's culture, providing bourgeois facts and theories, morality and discipline suitable for a labour force, as well as a national hierarchy. This is what confronts working class children. It tends to be focused on the failure of the family. Bourdieu will also support this seeing that teachers transmit aristocratic culture. The deputy head of the school also saw the need for providing a 'much-needed "conservative force"… Formal structures' (39), and this is been echoed by some Black Americans as a problem, [Cornell West on the decline of Black neighbourhood and Black civil society]. As a result schools make teachers 'often unintentionally reinforce certain norms around race, class and sexuality' in the form of discourses in education. Skeggs uses Foucault to show how this happens via the regulation of sexuality.

Teachers did not realise that the interpretation of their actions by African Caribbean boys was an experience of 'institutionalised racism', that it undermined many positive aspects of this subculture. At the same time, the main areas of conflict, race and sexuality have deep roots in the stereotyped notions of Black masculinity, again echoed by other researchers — it leads to admiration from working class White youths, and a perceived threat from teachers.

[Classic ambivalence characteristic of the whole book really]

Antagonistics were probably growing, and the budget crisis might have contributed to it with its insecurity and cynicism — the council as well as the children had lost respect for teachers. Low morale produced criticism of headmasters and SMT, and a demand for a strong man who would crack down and properly pull their weight. This echoes Ball om micro-politics and the common perception of the head teacher as a manager 'who is never fair or competent' (41).

Most teachers were into 'containment' in their lessons, sometimes just photocopying worksheets, minimising interaction, not really implementing policy decisions, sending boys out of class, ducking serious discipline issues. There was little contact outside of lessons except for a basketball club and a steel band. Most of the staff did not want any social contact with the children — they wanted to escape from the school and they often blamed students for the lack of interest in anything extracurricular like drama. Supportives saw this as an excuse for lack of commitment. Antagonists supported bourgeois imposition, and in the case of the head teacher, 'Caribbean rooted "idealism"' (43), although many supportive teachers shared this too. Some blamed primary schools and the shift to progressive methods. Even supportives saw the need for consistency and security, and believed that many Black boys valued these as well. There was a general quality assurance problem given inadequate resources and teacher apathy, and teachers were too ready to suggest African Caribbean subculture 'as the scapegoat for their own inadequacies and the failure of the institution' (44) [not at all the usual Sewell again].

In terms of racism, one approach sees it as based in biased individual actions rooted in ideas and assumptions. Another sees racism as 'a structural arrangement among racial groups' (44) a matter of control by White people who restrict access of non White people to power and privileges and regulate cheap labour. Institutional racism is based on the idea that 'a rule which is applied to everyone is not automatically fair or just', so that popular racism may be rejected, but teachers can 'act in ways which are, in their effects, discriminatory'. Gillborn has suggested that it is better to use the term ethnocentrism — 'the tendency to evaluate other ethnic groups from the standpoint of one's own ethnic group and experience' [this is Gillborn 1990. Race, ethnicity and education. London: Unwin Hyman]. For some, racism must involve power and prejudice, and this is the basis of race awareness training, but that  is now considered 'crude oversimplification', for example having difficulties if Black as a prejudice of  power,{? I think I meant if Blacks have prejudice and power]  or failing to distinguish between personal and occupational prejudices.

Teacher racism in particular has been seen to be 'a circulation of complexity and ambivalence' (45). This has led to more sophisticated analysis of intersections and relations between class, gender and race and there are tensions and contradictions and discontinuities. Thus Troyna sees racism as a '"contingent variable"'. Mac an Ghaill also shows the interlocking of race class and gender.

It is even more complex with teacher racism. Direct contact with teachers is only a small proportion of schooling experience. There is interaction with peers. The adoption of teacher stereotypes may be part of a reputation within the peergroup — 'one example of how racism takes on a life of its own' (46).

The school's policy was 'big on theory and small on practical implementation'. It proposed a clear policy and structure, mechanisms, strategies at the departmental level, staff development and monitoring and recording of bilingual learners, but failed to respond except for the last one. Many teachers felt it was 'there for administration purposes only' they also felt that 'there was no racism in the school and that if you were racist in the popular sense of the word then you would not work at Township' (47). One teacher claimed never to have heard a complaint. It was just that not enough Black candidates applied to be teachers. Antiracism was no longer appropriate, or if racism was present it only emerged in years nine and 10 in a subtle form. Blacks were disproportionally excluded simply because there were so many of them.

The context of the classroom was located within a more general context of 'an essentialist and reductionist view of "difference"' held by local authorities and the Inspectorate. Black boys were excluded mostly for violent or abusive conflict, and this was hard to change. Discipline was seen as basic for equal opportunities could be implemented. There was no incentive to investigate complexity or to admit that they might have had a role to play, nor how things were changing in terms of identity.

All the teachers had experience of antiracist and anti-sexist curricula. 45% of them still believed in assimilationism and everyone being treated in the same manner '(i.e. as though they were White and middle-class) and we should not create differences' (49). There is also tokenism held by about 45% where the curriculum is based on a single concession such as teaching about slavery. The last category was more emancipatory and allowed pupils to understand 'where they are "coming from" and gives them the means to be critical about what influences them'. There was some ridicule directed at a non-Eurocentric curriculum: one teacher had had a bad experience in an earlier borough of romantic glorification of Africa. The ex-head teacher had agreed to remove out of date books from the library if they reflected 'overt racism and sexism' and claimed this to be an example of equal opportunity policy.  A supportive teacher had a broader view including being suspicious about some multicultural tokenism, and the absence of a national approach towards teaching racism. There may be a conservative backlash in the form of a post antiracist era.

There was a resistance to any attempt to produce 'a critical multicultural curriculum', compared to the major interest in survival and establishing authority. They understood that they might be in the line of fire from angry Black children concerned about racism, but felt the need to keep this in check, and not risk progressive ideas 'in case the balance of power went to the children' (51). Thus it was safer to discuss racism in other countries but not England, or to avoid actual discussion which might lead to confrontation, or to avoid controversial topics generally.

This had the effect of failing to 'challenge the negative aspects of the pupil subculture' (52) except as a disciplinary issue. Social processes, especially links with subcultures in capitalism were not pursued, especially their development in sexism. Instead, one teacher was so outraged by sexism that she resorted to a racist discourse. Others saw African Caribbean males as 'too high and unsteady so allow them to engage in creative learning' and therefore pursued material that was 'de-politicised and deracialised' and that included the boys' subculture.

There was little contact with the community where the boys lived, and it is not unknown that teachers do not identify with Black communities generally. The background of these Black boys was quite varied — 'Pentecostal church, Rastafarian, middle-class, lone parent, Conservative and Black activist' (54). Some teachers were particularly hostile and patronising towards parents [one judged a father on wearing gold chains and driving flash cars, looking like a gangster — this looks like an example in another piece by Sewell]. There is a general consensus that Black parents were failing, often because there were single-parents or did not discipline their kids properly, for example letting them go out at night. There was no mechanism for contacting the school because it was far away from where parents lived. The school did initiate a programme of teaching parents how to teach kids to read, but it was not that successful. Asian family backgrounds were more positively compared. Two Black school governors were greeted with hostility, for example by being seen as mischievous in blocking some exclusions [they sat on the exclusion panel and and were accused of politicising the issue, an example of 'deeper racism — the "chip on the shoulder" stereotype' (54)].

Some supportive teachers urged more connections to boost self-esteem, and remedy boys who were '"suppressed by their overall culture"' or who had narrow horizons. Antagonists questioned the issue of Black role models, however, blaming boys who did not have the courage to break from the group, and generally adopting a colourblind approach and the need to keep a distance from children generally and for kids to stand on their own. This echoes criticism of role models and giving back to the community in the USA (58 – 59). However, an individualistic ethos does link to some extent with the Caribbean tradition of education as 'a means of social and economic advancement' (59), detected in some school boys by teachers, even the troublemakers: White anti-school kids were supposed to be even more irredeemable.

Overall, we are warned not to be essentialist about Black people, as researchers as much as teachers, so remember that '"Black" is a politically constructed category and that there is an immense diversity in the experiences of Black subjects'. That extends to teachers identifying students as Black, but this would not guarantee 'anything in terms of how they will go on to relate to African Caribbean pupils' (60) we must insist on the 'situatedness of human thought', that 'subjectivity is in the state of change'.

There are stereotypes held by teachers. Asian students were seen as 'being highly able and social conformist' in contrast to African Caribbean boys who were 'antagonistic to authority rather than less able' (61). In contrast to other studies, White teachers did not think Black students were less able. They did think that they were 'instinctively against authority', and that this was, in one case, '"ingrained"'. It accompanies an equally generalised stereotypes of Asian students as passive and middle-class, or ambitious. Some teachers realised that some African Caribbean boys were quite bright but were held back by wanting to succeed in subcultural terms: in this particular case this was still seen as natural, although it does hint at a certain contingency and contradiction.

Gillborn 1990 found that White teachers stereotypes were based on myth of a challenge from Black boys, a threat to authority, conveyed in challenging looks, or more generally in physicality, linked to their sexuality. Teachers at township also perceived Black boys is threatening, compared with Asian kids, for example and thus as potential troublemakers. Apart from anything else, this ignores the growth of violent Asian gangs (65). There were contradictions on occasion in teacher comments here.

Sometimes students might respond to the teacher expectations of their ethnic group. For example African Caribbean boys sometimes realised that teachers feared them on a physical level and used this 'to be resistant to schooling' (65), while Asian boys adopted more covert practices and invisible forms, excusing their behaviour for example on the grounds that they had language difficulties.

In summary [thank God] the African Caribbean challenge was a mess, based on ethnographic assumptions by teachers concerned to survive. It partly explains disproportionate exclusion rates. However there was contradiction and ambivalence. All teacher types were prone to essentialism, ignoring complexity. Stereotypes were also reinforced with perspectives from outside. Boys also saw themselves in stereotyped terms. These 'racialised discourses are always articulated in context’-- there is no simple transmission of stereotyped expectations. We also need to consider factors like gender, race and class extending beyond the classroom in order to avoid a 'closed and uniform experience of racism… That belies the complexity of social reality' (67).

 For teachers, it is not 'simply that racism is an external set of beliefs that they consciously or subconsciously drawn upon in their dealings with Black and Asian students. Rather, it represents a set of discourses that come, over time, to structure the way they think about the world, themselves and others'. It is embodied in personal experience and action and perception. It demonstrates an awareness of 'the significance of the social construction of identity'. It cuts across 'a number of discourses', often in an unexpected way, as with the teacher who had a middle-class Caribbean ideal of culture which ended in 'a racialised discourse' about actual Black boys. The response was inadequate. So is a simple acceptance or rejection of stereotypes. What is required is a deconstruction of these identities, 'the questioning of self through other cultural positions'.

This is what I was arguing with micropolitics and ordinary racism -- race is one identity or resource that can be invoked, sometimes tactically deployed rather than some essential eternal ever-present process based on epistemes or constant interests in oppression.It needs to be identiified by speci
alists who essentialise for practical purposes. Hall's wobbling on essentialism is crucial here

The resistance of Black students was justified. However, the specific subculture needs to be evaluated — does it help or hinder? Is it exaggerated? Is it used as a scapegoat for teacher weakness and racism?

Survival seemed important for most of the teachers who received apparently little support from head teachers and SMT. They blamed the subculture as the main obstacle to the school process working, although those who had less conflict also realised the staff's role in the social formation of attitudes and also the wider context. There was no 'simple Black vs White conflict' and some Black teachers engaged in racialised discourses. Most African Caribbean pupils were excluded because of their conflict with teachers in the classroom. Survival attitudes also led to a racist discourse because teachers failed to see the complexity of the students in front of them. Conformist Black students and rebel Asian boys were particularly poorly perceived and survivalism meant that they were not investigated.

Nevertheless tough questions about the African-American subculture remain, especially the view that 'the school provides the only "formal structure" in their lives'. (68)

Chapter 3. A range of student responses: conformists and rebels.

There is an overemphasis on African Caribbean children who resist schooling, with the exception of Gillborn (1990) was found a range of adaptation. In this school there was a fourth-year gang, the Posse which had a disproportionate influence, but there rather subcultures, and even the Posse had a range of responses.

We can use Merton to explore ranges of adaptations faced with people who encounter anomie — conformists, innovators, ritualists, retreatists and rebels. However, these categories are not fixed because students are 'decentred subjects changing the social identity depending on the context' (76). What is more, the goals of the school were 'ambivalent and contradictory', and range from containment to idealism. There is also confusion between goals and means, so that things like hairstyles were still seen as rebellious even among students with excellent results. Overall, there are more complex meanings behind these types, and what we need is 'a "grammar" of principles' [he suggests an alternative in a diagram: boys are positioned by 'discourses and cultural forms' and 'how they are perceived as goals or means'; they position themselves in communities and subcultures 'producing discourses of acceptance or resistance'; they occupy multiple 'categories' based on a 'multiplicity of axes… Conflicting subject positions and potential practices and interactions' (77).

Other analysts have talked about different types of resistance and contestation, which include opting for conformity, but generally, goals and means always depend on inferences and relationships which are available and how individuals are positioned or position themselves.

If we take poststructuralist notions of identity politics, we can rework Merton and conventional categories, to separate subjects from actual individuals, and refer instead to '"subject position"', based on '"power/knowledge relations"' [quoting Henriques] (78). In particular we must consider partial or contradictory constructions of self. The only one created by the students themselves was 'rebellion'. He found 41% of them conformist and 35% innovators. There were no ritualists [surprising], 6% retreatists and 18% rebels.

Chapter 4 conformists: a cultural sacrifice

The conformists were the largest category. Though mostly defined by an opposition to community and embracing individualism. They corresponded to a study of American urban college students who felt they were foreign visitors having to adopt a new culture. There was pressure from some teachers to encourage success in order to beef up the league tables of exam results, and this led to a mentoring system based on 13 successful students. Other students were rank ordered from '"mediocre" to "a lost cause"': the latter were to be contained and kept away from the talented.

Keddie has argued that the perception of ability is connected to streaming, and that depends on being willing to take the teacher's definition of the situation, teacher categories, and this might be linked to social class. In this school, conformists and rebels had similar socio-economic backgrounds, although some difference in their occupations, more of a link between professional parents and conformist students. The two groups shared an interest in music and other out-of-school interests, including ragga. Keddie is right to suggest that one crucial difference is whether students are able to move into alternative systems of thought apart from their everyday knowledge, learning standard English for example rather than patois. Most boys in this school operated in 'a Black English inner-city dialect', but conformists were more able or willing to '"verbalise" in "good" standard English' (81).

Conformists have a mixture of friends from different ethnic backgrounds, while rebels drew from an exclusively Black peergroup. Conformists almost bordered on 'a racialised discourse' in explaining why they avoided certain kids in their school who they saw as bad people adopting Black styles. This might even be 'self degradation' (82).

There were signs of fictive kinship, brotherhood, but also a desire to cut an individual path, even in music and cultural tastes [one preferred rock rather than rap and ragga and saw rappers as offensive to women, just like Arday!] He also maintained a 'strong sense of [respectable] Black identity, Black history for example and analyses of racism provided by his parents, even 'awareness of racism and race pride' (83). Conformism is also rooted in an ethic of cooperation among the urban poor, at least in America, but in this case, rejecting Black brotherhood means not acting White but '"acting elite"' (84), retaining elements of Black culture, even accompanied with racist discourse, but going on to progress within White institutions. 'An emerging subcategory for "conformists" becomes "elitist"' (84).

Other conformists shared more cultural expressions even though they also dissociated themselves from mainstream Black groups. They wanted to be seen as individuals not part of an anti-school group. They found maintaining the balance difficult, wanting to have friends, and yet not running with the bad boys: one was particularly annoyed at being labelled by teachers even though he did not really hang around with the Posse. Teachers had high expectations of this student and he did complete his homework adequately, although he was often punished collectively, not separated from the group. Apparently Gillborn had a similar student, affected by a negative image, but trying to succeed against the odds and minimise conflicts with teachers rather than rebelling. The Posse also rejected him and said he was a goody-goody or a pussy. MAG has noticed similar accusations of being gay if you achieve academically.

Overall there were two types of conformist. The elitist had to break altogether with the Black community although they were never fully raceless because they did not fully reject Black identities. Sometimes they did stereotyped their Black peers. The second category did accommodation, trying to keep a pro-school personality despite negative teacher attitudes that generalised about all African Caribbean students, and trying to adjust to the pressure from the anti-school clique. They managed both of these by seeing academic success 'not as collective but as individualistic' (87).

When the new Black head appeared, together with a Black deputy head, it was hoped that this would lead to a more firm hand. The head soon achieved record exclusion rates, and blamed '"the type of domestic curriculum (which they need)… A stage where they feel very bitter, very angry… A subculture of antiauthority, anti work, anti academic prowess"' (88). They are more visible than similar White kids, who tend to truant or go to work with their family. He saw himself as a classic role model and attacked the subculture of the boys from his own Conservative notions of conformity. This was a 'new hegemony' (89) which had ironically led to a 'more blatant attack and denial of African Caribbean youth culture', and conformist students were expected to share these values.

The head came from a strict background in Jamaica and had arrived in England when he was 11 and faced considerable trauma. His parents had high hopes, but he thought that English schools were substandard and the kids had little discipline. He also faced racism which baffled him. He still believed that education was the key force and that he could rise above the low aspirations offered to White working class kids. The Caribbean was seen as a meritocracy, but this was exaggerated — it was elitist and the head's was a romantic view [a couple of writers are quoted here]. The head's ideology saw education as civilising as well as a means of getting work. He sees the main burden of achievement to lie with the boys, and sees their subculture as lacking discipline, especially ragga. As a result he banned certain hairstyles, even though they only affected Black boys, which he justified as needing to acquire the skills for success.

Problems over hairstyle had caused problems, and one pro-school child was particularly distressed to be disciplined. The teacher said he just had to stick to the rules, although other teachers said there were no rules. The teacher had no idea about the care required for this hairstyle, nor the ambiguity of the rules, it was 'murky ground' (94) which left teachers having to make decisions which in turn raised issues of 'accusations of cultural bias'.

The head was antagonistic to Black subculture and was supported by some students, although not by most staff. He was seen as weak and unable to get support, sometimes even receiving defiance. In Ball's terms, he had a '"political" style, and within that 'adversarial leadership', openly depending on persuasion and commitment, stressing the ideology of the school, and having to deal with attacks, persuade waverers and so on. However he lacked suitable strategies and was seen as soft. He also had problems with the leadership succession, as many heads do — the preferred candidate, and insider, did not get the headship, on the grounds that he lacked academic training. The newone was expected to fail according to one teacher.

One major step was to make school uniform compulsory and this received support but only '"intellectually"', and soon led to confrontations and exclusions. The head was also not taken seriously by the students because they saw him as ineffective and leading an unwarranted assaults on their subculture. It is possible that their subculture was in fact 'a scapegoat for issues that had nothing to do' with it. He certainly had a 'missionary zeal in his vision of African Caribbean youth culture as the major obstacle to progress in schooling' (97). The Asian kids were able to exploit the system, but Black students have low ambitions and prefer increased street cred, and maintaining fictive kinship. The head did not see poverty and social class or poor schooling as equally significant [and preferred his own experience]. He urged students to break away from the group and become individualised.

Neither head accepted that 'schooling can undervalue African Caribbean boys' (98). The old head 'undermined their desire for formal schooling structures… Which many of the boys wanted'. The new head attacked their subculture. Both reflected a certain idealism, towards the Caribbean, and this led to a failure to acknowledge the shortcomings of the schooling process itself. Both were paternalist, offering a safe haven or a ladder to success.

This conservatism and pastoralism was threatened by changing youth culture and this was the source of the sharpest teacher conflict. It could be that the idealism of the new head is 'an unintended bias against African Caribbean boys' but there might be a more active promotion of 'a racist discourse' as in the campaign against hairstyles. The significant point here is that the rules were not clarified or enforced consistently, so it could hardly be justified, and White boys were allowed more liberty, for example to wear 'ponytails'. However, the new head is right to stress the rejection of academic success and see it as counter-productive. He rejects teacher racism and ineffective schooling as factors. His criticism of masculinity 'must still be taken seriously' and his questions about music and the need for formal structures 'raises important questions about the place of Black subcultures'

[Weasel after weasel! Or is it complexity and contingency?]

Chapter 5. Innovators and Retreatists. Learning to balance the books.

35% of Black boys were innovators, accepting the goals but rejecting the means. The goals were parental. One was also a member of the Posse and had been expelled from two schools for violent behaviour he had also had five short term exclusions at Township, the latest because he had been drinking. He is also a regular attender, and says he wants to learn — he will make jokes if the lessons are boring.

His parents believe in the Caribbean ideal of education as the ladder. His father in particular is keen on education. He wants to do a BTEC and work in a bank. He was unable to balance being positive about education but rejecting school and this led to conflict, unlike Fuller on the Black girls who were pro-education but not pro-school and managed to keep a distance with a pragmatic attitude. The boys could not do this and retain only limited resistance sufficient to justify their peergroup.

Although they wanted education they could not avoid conflict or obey rules. Sometimes this was down to hyper- masculinity, or in their own words Raggu, implying having more bottle, having a legacy of poverty and slavery, and strict life. This explains their greater aggression or rudeness. Academic success is a mental activity, not stuff, so how is it possible to value academic success? Their parent culture does, rooted in Saturday Schools.

One who got close to Fuller's girls took advantage of weakness in the discipline structure and did not get caught. He was antisocial but there was never enough evidence to catch him. He had a low opinion of teachers who could not deal with rude kids. 'There is almost a sense of regret that he is allowed to be a "bad boy"' (105). He has found his own way: he accepts the formality of schooling but rejects the poor methods used, unlike those who reject the means of school because they are too demanding or formal. [Some managed to do very little but still pass all their exams.]. Teacher neglect can be blamed here rather than teacher racism and this was noted by many boys.

Many were good attenders compared to White boys, and this was even regretted by some teachers. At the same time, it was 'an easy means of escaping questions about the quality of classroom management' (106). Classroom management certainly varied, and the kid above was quite different in different classes. Another kid also reported quite different reactions according to whether the teacher gave the appearance of caring or not.

The one convention that Black boys did not break was regular attendance. This is also because there was nothing for them to do on the street that would not get them into trouble, but also that they had to try. It was to some extent both a safe haven, from police harassment, for example, and also something that parents approved of. Black kids seemed unable to grasp this contradiction, and want to see school 'has value on their terms only', wanting 'a high degree of autonomy' (108), only acceptable on the basis of their own subjectivity [class, race and gender]. In this sense, the 'actual culture of the students is a more effective agent of social control' with its emphasis on consumerism and phallocentrism which socialise them 'into roles destined by capitalism' better than the school could. [This really comes out of left-field and is suggested by Weis].

Expectations extended to the school having to both educate and discipline this kid, while allowing it no influence on his socialisation or any interference with the social activities, especially dominant masculinity. They know, for example that school will limit their relationships with the outside world, even though 'the life of the ghetto hard man is far from glamorous', but cover that with the constructed fantasy and ideology of 'phallocentrism supermen'. This comes over as a specific anti-school culture which involves aggressively defending their pride from the slightest provocation. Unsurprisingly the majority of innovators saw schooling as 'repressive, exclusive and racist' (109). Theirs was a contradictory struggle, sharing some objectives of schooling but rejecting the means and preferring their own, wanting school to provide a secure space for them in which to conduct their own social relations, although that ended up with exclusions. Unlike girls, this kind of accommodation was likely to fail.

Some American researchers looked at the fear of acting White on Black American students as a factor in their ambivalence towards academic effort. They had instead a group identity, 'fictive kinship' with other Black kids, that provided some oppositional social identities defined as not doing things associated with White Americans. This was more important than simply not sharing cultural backgrounds or meanings, 'cultural discontinuity', since it did not affect Asians. It was a feature of 'cast like minorities' who were afraid of not being good members of their community. The key was the language you spoke, avoiding standard English, and there was also 'White music, studying, working hard to get good grades, actually getting good grades, and putting on "airs"' (110).

This may be a stage in developing and ethnic identity and lead to a '"Blacker – than – thou" syndrome' at one stage, an initial inversion. However, in this work gender has been ignored, and for Township kids it is important. Fuller showed that Black girls saw academic knowledge as linked to [personal] power, but this was meaningless to the male innovators and seen as feminised: the superior knowledge of the street was all.

This was not universal, though. It seems that students who find the most difficulties with acting White are found in racially balanced schools [according some research in 1995], who found themselves under more pressure to choose sides. The pressure in Township was more like acting like a proper Black hyper- heterosexual male, rejecting some notion that could link them to the White world. Surveillance from their Black peers was the 'major cause for concern' (111).

There were a number of retreatists — 6% who rejected both goals and means, but did not join the subculture for any significant alternative. One spent all day just walking round corridors, apparently never picked up by his teachers who saw him as a slow learner and were too weak to do anything about it. He did not want to join the Posse who he saw as bullies. He had never been excluded because he was always polite to teachers and did not attract attention because he was not aggressive. He missed work and saw it as little value. OFSTED says that White working class boys are actually performing worst. It is possible to walk around in groups of two pretending to be on an errand, but this is open to only a few — they were both 'Black and invisible'. One kid was also not physically well developed and therefore perceived as nonthreatening. However retreatism was not seen as a popular form of resistance

Chapter 6 rebels: it's all or nothing

There are shifting links between music genre and masculinities, for example tough followers of reggae have now come to criticise ragga as raw. These criticisms are sometimes based on nostalgia, and newer ones are seen as less authentic, more dominated by capitalism or American society.

The Posse were all interested in ragga. It was less political than Rastafarianism. Music, style and clothes were still important in creating a subculture resistant to schooling, as in Brake's classic — resolving collectively experienced problems through collectively generated identity as a temporary solution. Yet school was still 'a much needed formal structure in their lives' (116): it gave them, ironically, 'what I'd call "the security to rebel"'.

The Posse had two subgroups — the Black nationalists and the hedonists, as 'tentative affinities', both of which provided for school resistance. The first one has rejected schooling 'in terms of a racialised perspective', seeing White teachers and Eurocentric curricula as against the best interests of Black people. The hedonists rejected schooling and saw a replacement in clothes, style and music of the subculture.

Black nationalists. One had particular conflict with an antagonistic teacher who talks down to him and is a racist — for example she groups kids by race and then pays more attention to Whites. [Sewell confirmed this, but saw a division based on ability and neglected kids in the slow lane which did 'have a racial implication' (117). Low ability White kids were able to stay away, but Black kids of similar level turned up, and were grouped together, average and low ability.] There was often confrontation over talking and inattention, sometimes seen as a battle of wills — Sewell observed one confrontation where a pupil accused the teacher of running boring lessons: this one was already in business as a mobile barber and saw no link between schooling and getting a job. He was right in estimating that Black kids had low job prospects anyway. He saw school as a place where Black people 'get exploited', while real Black education took place outside, and was about getting quick money and restoring pride, building networks. He saw most of the pupils as wankers and saw no point in the socialisation functions of school. Here there was [indirect] evidence of community pressure which valued the collectivity over individual mobility. This pupil saw knowledge ais important, but just not school knowledge. He is termed a Black nationalists because he sees potential in the community. He wants to survive but feels he's outgrown schooling which will only turn him into a failure. His nationalism extends to seeing himself as a victim 'of a greater racist system' (120).

Hedonists were tolerated because there was no initiation rituals for the Posse, rather a shared interest in some Black British music, such as hybrids between ragga and jungle electro, and an emphasis on 'sex, hyper- male, sexuality and violence in the music' (120). Critics see this as responsible for producing aggressive males who then go on to rebel, 'slaves to their own stereotypes'. [one source is quoted here — Staples 1982, which looks a bit like sexuality as compensatory status]. One kid in the Posse had a long record of exclusions for bullying and aggressive behaviour, and felt that he had outgrown school and did not want to be treated as a kid but rather to hang out with big people. Teachers treated him like a kid even though his parents did not do so. One break with childhood was to know about sex and to cuss. School could not meet his expectations 'as a "man"' and he rejected the head's view as out of touch. He wanted to make money and babies. His father had eight kids by four different women and was an absent father. He had four girlfriends but did not intend to make them pregnant. He is immature, though 'especially because he has no real job plans apart from a long shot of becoming a professional footballer' (121). School assaulted the thing most precious to him his manhood, and trouble arose when he was made to look small.

This was shared with another kid — this one saw the 'essentialist perception of Black people [as] pleasure seeking' (122), having a social life, expressing themselves, not being given orders, 'a standard Western conflict between the body and the mind'. He is alienating from both caring and being responsible, and this is confirmed by Gilroy who says that 'materialism and misogyny' are 'the most comfortable representations of Blackness' for the dominant culture — Black men become sources of pleasure and sources of danger. This implies the internalisation of stereotypes, 'the process of acting out an exaggerated manhood in response to the subjugation of your own'.

Another kid found that women teachers in particular overreacted to is aggressiveness because he was big, although he blames his aggressive body language. He likes strong male teachers, all of which happened to be supportive. He tended to want to be the class clown as well, but found security in a tough regime. Conflict often arose around him wearing a baseball, seen as aggressive, and known to be against school rules. He didn't see much value in school except to meet his mates. What is puzzling is why tough male teachers are more acceptable, and why only '"having a laugh"'? Other teachers have reported that he affects other kids and behaving badly and is very disrespectful and aggressive. He operates 'within the myth, or stereotyped, often African Caribbean challenge' (125). Teachers are accurate here, and this kid knows that his performance creates fear and gives him power. He likes to play games and respect only teachers who are tough enough. This operation 'on the level of "appearance", "style" and "gesture", is more than just the defence of ethnicity against Eurocentrism, it is more like a rejection of a society where schooling and mental activity is 'the preserve of the White middle classes' (125). [can't see the bases for these shifts in judgment]

Hedonists reject mental labour, unlike Black nationalists who still see that knowledge is positive and has emancipatory potential. Hedonists are more similar to Willis's lads, and MA G who says that subcultures provide new status [he also points to '"intense gender surveillance… Involving deeply felt and articulated cultural investments"'] (126). Victor is not prepared is to make all the investments necessary to break completely with school, however but prefers to wear is baseball cap and continue with 'clashes with teachers'.

Is this a challenge to White hegemony? This is 'an oversimplification'. Subcultures both work against schooling and the values of White dominant society, and reproduce 'the very same values [they] were contesting' (126). So tough virility helps process African Caribbean kids in schools and is present in the hidden curriculum and teacher attitudes as well as peer groups and White students. Teachers even expected White and Asian kids to be bullied. We can see with the hedonist subculture in particular an '"internalisation of stereotypes"'. Black nationalists at least saw the value of knowledge, even if it wasn't school knowledge. Others have called this a dialectical relation to dominant values. It reflects an 'inability to — or desire not to — break from the collectivist culture and reproduce the dominant culture as a form of rebellion' (127).

Teachers responded differently. One teacher refused to racialised anything and saw the school as above racism, and the racial elements of the subculture is insignificant. He blamed the parents. Teachers who are supportive were not the same as those who were idealists. One corresponded to Black nationalism by thinking that Black children need to be taught by Black teachers in order to empathise with them in the real world. This was a racial perspective blaming middle-class teachers unable to connect and overcome a cultural barrier. This arose because of connections with the Caribbean. This was however a  'homogenised perception of these boys… The same logic as those teachers who believe in the myth that African Caribbean challenge [citing Gillborn]' (128), where Black kids are an alien mass different from White middle-class norms: the only difference is seeing them as victims. This is still essentialism, though and it does not explain all the conflicts in the school, nor do all the boys possess these particular qualities: some excluded ones, for example shared 'the dominant middle-class ethos of the school' (129). This is an insufficient engagement with teacher racism, insufficiently challenging, settling for an essential difference in the culture of African Caribbean boys [in other words exactly what Sewell himself is accused of].

Nevertheless, this was the only form of challenge to racism and it did lead to this teacher taking up the perspectives of children against some teachers. Those teachers saw the approach as wrong and having unintended consequences of polarising kids still further. They thought a mentor scheme would be better. This particular teacher caused a lot of aggravation and was seen to be too critical as a troublemaker. One teacher even saw that the school did not contribute at all to the alienation of the boys [she seems to have seen it more in class terms?].

Another supportive White teacher noticed the ways in which White and African Caribbean students differ when they challenge authority, and use that to explain different rates of exclusion. He said some White boys were deeply racist but got away with it unchallenged. The exclusion policy was more based on visible one-off incidents, confirmed by Gillborn who also noticed that particular behaviours lead to exclusion rather than long-term threats to good order. Supportive teachers were particularly interested in 'a willingness to be flexible' (131) and said this was not sufficiently extended to Black kids. For one it was part of a proper professional approach, nothing to do with macho, although he did '"think female teachers can't do this, and I know some male teachers who can't"'.  He thought that Black kids could not see through the posturing of rap artists or the way the media works, which 'trivialised the influence of Black popular culture' (132).. Sewell disagrees and cites bell hooks on how uncritical young Black men are about phallocentrism. He also sees a more sophisticated relationship between White capitalism and Black consumers [explored later on where youngsters can subvert capitalism and produce their own cultural expressions to some extent].

He shares the notion of innocence with other teachers [a characteristic noticed by Hall], which is associated with institutionalised racism, a 'reductive form'. Quoting Rattansi, this assumes that "'racist processes are the only or primary cause of all unequal outcomes and exclusions… [Which underplays]… The significance of the class and gender inequalities which are intertwined"' (132). One consequence is '"inappropriate possibly divisive policies which ignore discriminations and disadvantages common to White and Black students… Boys and girls"'.

So supportive teachers can also be subdivided into the innocent ones as a further complexity, and raises again the issue of how much responsibility African Caribbean boys hold themselves in disproportionate exclusions. Irritated teachers simply blame them altogether. One particularly irritated one was assaulted by a boy and has experienced many clashes, although, she does not racialise these conflicts! And simply sees them as the result of lots of African Caribbean boys in the school anyway. Sewell says this is a wrong perception in the year group she has most conflict with where there are equal numbers. She does think that Black kids bring more problems to school from outside, but wishes that was not the case. This particular one is on the left, valuing 'collectivism, egalitarianism and meritocracy' [but uses openly abusive terms to refer the boys she does not like — Black humour?], And deliberately wanted to teach in all White suburban schools: she now sees that there is '"too much arrogance"' associated with Black children in this school, unlike ones she has met in the past. She is unwilling to openly racialise the kids, but still stereotypes them as likely to be more lively, agreeing with Mac an Ghaill that liberals often do see Black kids as having a different temperament. She does not like cultural expressions of subcultures. She condemns arrogance and machismo. She sees herself just as a ringmaster and hates the job — also needs the money and wants to help a few nice kids. She is in the subcategory of irritated teachers, the '"cynical"' (135). She partly blames the school leadership as well as the boys' culture but never herself: she is a victim. She is not totally antagonistic to the boys, and is tolerant about their hair, for example but is most opposed to their sexisn.

This 'ambivalence between support and antagonism' (136) is demonstrated by another irritated teacher who opposes rules about hair as an intrusion on freedom to express oneself, but sees Black subculture as a whole as a bad influence, especially where parents had lost control. She mentions violence and sexism, even racism, constructing '"only… a superficial image of Blackness"', not realising how to use the system to their advantage. This might be yet another category within the irritated group — the ambivalent. Other teachers have this, thinking that Black subculture does have a negative influence but only on a small percentage of boys, while it does seem to have a large influence on the schooling process. He has examples of where street culture has had a major disruptive effect, and does not want to implicate teacher racism, but on the other hand, he is aware of the dangers of stereotyping and notices that many Black kids conform and are successful. At the same time, he is aware that some types of clothing may send '"a signal"' which may turn into anti-school behaviour such as lateness in attendance, rather disruption. This mitigates against their own success. He also blames home background for this, and sees it as strongest on African Caribbean children and next strongest on African ones: African ones on the whole have 'a stronger home background'

Chapter 7. How Britain became 'Negro' — Black masculinities go national.

British migrants were left pretty defenceless when they arrived in Britain. They relied on music, just as in America, the blues was quite an important factor, but an ambivalence about context remained — some looked back to the parental culture, others to something that might be 'uniquely British' (139), something 'Negro ', also associated with boys becoming men.

Gilroy sees three tendencies at work: Black British youth culture in an international network, as a diaspora culture; incorporating 'diverse and contradictory elements'; developing through various stages, partly as capitalism develops. In 1960 there were hundred and 25,000 'West Indians' who regarded themselves as English. After that, tensions arose there were racist attacks and discrimination especially in housing, and Black people were seen as a problem, and their absence the solution, hence immigration legislation 1962, 68, and 71.

The education system had been 'designed to keep the White working class in their place' (141) and struggled with race and achievement. First phase sources identified by Coard, over representing Black kids as educationally subnormal. There was also the emergence of early resistance, a rejection of '"dirty jobs"' and the normal school promises. School was seen as reproducing the system of compliant workers and was resisted. One response was to introduce Black studies, partly with support of Black parents, but this also turned into 'a kind of "special needs initiative"' (142).

Developments outside of Britain strengthened the alternative culture into more like 'an ideological conflict' — Black Power in the USA and Rastafarianism. Raster became increasingly important in Britain between 1970 and 1981. God was Black, Africa was the true home of Black people, and imitation societies were Babylon. Reggae was significant in popularising Rastafarian ideology, although it was itself a hybrid, linked to American music. It had a world wide appeal and a wide influence, including 'White reggae bands' (144). This led to cultural mixing, 'a distinctly Black British expression', a 'post-modern exercise', in the form of an everyday struggle to make a mark, and to avoid the argument that White equals British, a form of mental slavery for Fanon.

Afro-Caribbean youths did not just mimic Caribbean culture, although they did turn to Black nationalist ideas in Rastafarianism, and see themselves as victims of oppression. This has an effect in one study with the development of a school gang, the Rasta Heads, expressed in '"dress, hairstyle, posture, language and the wearing of Rastafari colours"' (1 45), resisted by the school and band, even though for some pupils it was only '"more loose cultural Association"'. It was also a '"muscular religion"' projecting toughness, moving beyond Rastafarianism and leading to more active rejection of schooling [the study being quoted here is Mac an Ghaill 1988], which included more 'subtle strategies of resistance"'. Schools were seen as processing kids to fit a racist system. This was the context for the third generation that she is studying.

Music has always been important as with reggae. The end of Rastafarianism led to particular changes. In Jamaica, the music scene became dominated by DJs or toasters, with non-revolutionary scenes, and the music became more commercialised internationally and more consumerist. As tastes changed, 'the movement suffered a similar demise' (148). DJ lyrics were no longer radical demands for social justice or redemption, but rather 'gun machismo and Black male sexual prowess'.

In Britain, there was more pluralism and diversity, beginning with language which was 'an act of decolonisation' (149), subverting the notion of what it meant to be a copy, as expressed in a particular hit record [Cockney Translation], where London Black patois was combined with Cockney rhyming slang.
From the mid-80s, the term Raggamuffin was popular, an ironic inversion that now glorified 'the raw side of manhood, even to the point of being misogynistic' and 'rebelled against a Conservative mainstream' (150). There are links with music led by DJs, and it became hip-hop or rap music. The main subjects were sex and violence and this led to controversy in Black communities and in states generally. Sewell sees it as both politically conservative and also potentially 'a radical underground confrontation with the patriarchy gender ideology and pious morality the fundamentalist Jamaican society… Slackness is potentially a politics of subversion… Not merely sexual looseness… A metaphorical revolt against  law and order', an escape from official culture. Thus ragga means an assertion of self, subversion of cultural margins and it has had a powerful influence on Black British culture during the 80s and 90s.

However it is also led to growing feminist critique and a critique of commercialism, possibly even a diversion into mere 'style politics' [based on the silence of Black politics during things like the Iraq war]. Perhaps this is excessive, to expect rap to replace Black civil society, and it is all to find feminists in alliance with right wing groups opposing obscenity [2 live Crew were actually banned and some of the lyrics are reproduced on 153 about breaking pussies]. Feminist like bell hooks of argued that this misogynism gives an illusion of power over the lives but is really a reproduction of '"the worst stereotypes White people put on Blacks"', a danger for Black men in leading to fear and hatred of other men.

There are defenders of this tradition, including one professor who claims that sexist lyrics like to live Crew 'part of a long-standing tradition of ritual insults… Rhetorical exchanges' (154) which have been misunderstood by watchdogs of various kinds. Africans have long developed '"allegories and double meanings, words redefined to mean their opposites… Parody"'. There is indeed a street tradition — '"signifying" or "playing the dozens"' involving using 'the most extravagant images, the biggest lies' trying to deal with racist stereotypes about sexuality by  'exploding them with exaggeration'.

Black people of debated these issues themselves, one analysis is said that there is too much violence in rap for the lyrics to be just satire, and that ordinary rappers are being credited with 'the literary genius of satirists' (155).

There has been a whole sequence and interaction between reggae and Black American music, especially dread, to merge with Funk to produce 'Funki Dred'. Political and cultural expressions were also merged in what was claimed to be '"the distinct culture and rhythm of life of Black Britain"' [citing Gilroy]. Sewell claims their experiments, including Marley are 'organic intellectuals' 'in Gramscian terms' to show dynamic adaptation (156) at different speeds, London, appeared to the North and Midlands. Art colleges and other youth cultures in London helped experimental culture.
At the start of the 90s, American and Caribbean fusions resulted in '"jungle"', 'rave music with reggae and soul mixed into it '(157), which became 'a distinctive Black London music'. Some critics saw the names racist, others saw it as ironic 'signifying'. Some saw it as deliberately distinctive compared to R&B, which was American, and reggae for Jamaica. Rave had seen Black electro dance music 'colonised by a White youth culture' which eventually excluded Black youths, and jungle music 'is a Black reaction to this subtle racism' [the source of this is the Observer magazine!] Jungle also 'express the growing frustration and resentment in the capital's council estates' and oppose the naïve colourblindness of rage [some tracks are cited stressing violence and guns].

African Caribbean youth were increasingly forced in the 1970s to choose between reggae and soul music which would then define their 'tribe', but there was a break with these tribes in the mid-80s in favour of more diverse cultural expressions, partly because White groups felt less threatened and Black groups were more confident and courageous. It is now 'virtually impossible' to disentangle the various enthusiasts and there is much 'cross fertilisation': 'dozens of pockets of new voices and interests emerge yearly' (159).

There is also an influence from negritude developing in the USA and Africa in the 1920s. It's a Black power and civil rights, and even in Britain had produced 'a collective Black identity opposition to racism'. Black was then constructed as a political term, linked with class struggle, especially in the work of Hall [who, incidentally, also suggested the capitalisation of the word Black to make it less derogatory and more to do with Black is beautiful]. Identity politics try to break with stigma of racism and make a connection with the Black diaspora generally in the USA.

Musical identities in the school he studied were quite varied, and he thinks they support Back in suggesting that these are active resolutions of identities rather than some sort of crisis, not confusion but a positive 'hybrid identity', for example 'a Black, English, Jamaican who has African roots and likes rap music' [1 of his kids].

Another analyst builds on the classic work on subcultures by Hall and Jefferson or Hebdige and sees style as an expression of aspirations [gets a bit Willis on the creativity involved in these solutions to problems]. One central issue was Black hair style. In the school they were banned, and seen as expressing an antagonistic attitude. There has always been a matter of 'social and political cultivation' however, and there is a large commercial enterprise Britain for Black people. There are also links with slavery, where early stereotypes had woolly hair and other savage attributes. Particular Black hairstyles in fact would 'produce their own cultural committee which marginalised boys who did not conform' in the school he observed.

Black people's hair has long been devalued, of course, and has been the source of social and symbolic struggles, most recently over the Afro and dreadlocks — 'an epistemological break with the dominance of a White ethos' (162), something natural rather than artificial. There were contradictions of course and both styles were rapidly commercialised and turned into 'another expression European romanticism' (163). Hume and Hegel were also responsible for the noble savage, popularised by Rousseau, and this chimed with the Romantics. Even an inversion is limited by remaining in a binary.

There can now be 'no claims to a pure African identity', because there has been too much 'interculturation' (163). What we have is 'the reworking of a neo-African sensibility'. Hybrid music, like Marley, is the best example, and so is Rastafarian philosophy. Mercer calls this '"Black stylisation… Dialogic responses to the races dominant culture, but at another level… Act of appropriation from the same master culture… creolising". Radical transformations of things such as music or other cultural forms are then reabsorbed into mainstream mass culture.

The African hairstyles in the school he observed are quite self-conscious, far from natural and quite aware of the contradictory nature of interculturation and ambivalence. It is now combined with styles that offer shaved sides, a return to the 60s. The style was imitated by White students who already had short back and sides based on American GIs.

Students often ready to ward nonconformists who did not correspond to fashion, and this included taunting about being homosexual and being feminine, even if the nonconformists were sometimes boys 'who could not afford to frequent trips to the barber' (165). We should not ignore the 'priorities the Black hairdressing industry, exploiting consumers and creating gendered differentiations which are not always positive'.

The predominantly White staff were not particularly concerned to prevent patterns in Black boys hair. The new teacher, who was Black, had a new strict policy, but many of the staff felt that was petty. However, they were critical of the subculture of African Caribbean boys. Sometimes they were ignorant about hair specifically, not realising that it needed care, for example. The head teacher was more concerned to get students to adopt a middle-class style which would be appropriate for their career and for social mobility: it was more to do with smartening up, and could be seen as 'practical paternalism' (166). However, he did not address the increased level of exclusion of African Caribbean boys based on petty reasons: the source of many complaints about conflict was indeed Black hairstyles as a sign of a masculine subculture.

Many boys through cultural strength not belonging, although it was contradictory — 'they loved and hated [being British] at the same time'. They appreciated that their culture was open to many influences including different musical forms and that they could find something distinctly Black and British. External forms like Rastafarianism could be a source of strength even though schools saw them as incompatible proposition. Another group saw that they can also be an affirmation of identity even though they lead to extra surveillance and opposition, 'cultural wars' (167). a Third group felt they should deny any affiliation with Black cultural expression because it would not help them get through school, and I opposed all Black youth culture.

Is there evidence of this '"dual dilemma"' for example a machismo based on negative resistance? One interviewee was a rebel with a high exclusion rate and a record of violence and a tough image. He said he belonged to a gang meeting outside school. He said he hated wimps and people who grovel to teachers. He thought that teachers were afraid of him because he was so large and are generally '"scared of Black people"'. Being pro-school was 'unmanly' for him (168). A 'sexual framework'produces his comments -- conformist students are pussies, bodies are crucial [there is a link to Connell which seems to rather echo Coleman on the idea that alternative status can be found in masculinity if it is denied in academic areas (169)]. The ideas about masculinity come from sport and music, especially violent music, rap. Sewell thinks that 'such cultural icons had most influence on those students who felt powerless in the schooling process… Poor readers… Disruptive home lives… Students who felt aggrieved because of teacher racism'. There is a link to Willis as well.

'There was little evidence that teacher racism alone led these boys to adopt a culture of resistance to schooling… Many African Caribbean boys were forced to deal with a disruptive home, ineffective teachers (of whom some were racist) and a marketplace ready to modify and sell Black patriarchal and phallocentric images to young Black men' (170)

Some of the movements are potentially creative and potentially solves issues of identity although they also change and influence the White landscape. Gilroy has looked at the tensions here, locating positions within international frameworks, reconciling diverse and contradictory elements, and moving through various stages of capitalist development. Overall there has been a shift from 'being a critique of capitalism to being its servant', and this has produced a major crisis. Contemporary Black male culture is open to criticisms for patriarchy and phallocentrism and these have been taken up by most of the teachers at the school. The result has been to leave them 'uncertain about how they should act as males' (171).

Subcultures worked at two levels: they provided a 'rich complex ethnicity' which helped establish an identity and which drew upon multiple influences and reworked themes, and developed of politics of resistance, seen best in Black power and Rastafarianism. However there is 'a self-destructive discourse' as well that 'seeks to replace a White dominant patriarchy with a Black phallocentrism', as hooks suggests, an obsession with the recovery of manhood. This can lead the boys with 'the offensive language of misogyny, homophobia or hyper heterosexuality' (172) as their 'only logic'. This happens in the school context which 'seeks to make African Caribbean boys intellectually powerless and/or bodily powerful'

Chapter 8 The case of two masculinities.

Two models dominate the range for boys and teachers — the McDonald model and the Yard Man. The first one refers to the newsreader Trevor McDonald and his campaign to develop 'proper English '— Sewell has argued that the whole issue of class and power needed to be addressed, the oppressiveness of the English language, and how it was used to demonise people including Black people. There was outrage from the right. This was a conformist model of Black masculinity, a neutered male, a proper gentleman. He received racist mail.

The alternative seem to be a street rebel. Neither conform to real lives of real boys. This was a source of rejection of school for some students — Eric felt the school disrespected his father and saw him as a petty criminal because he drove a flash car. Eric had been involved in crime, however although he did want to do well in school. He felt he was suspected ever since he became big and muscular. He wanted respect. He did not want to be seen as a street hood. The whole episode was an example of capillary power for Foucault, disciplinary power, characteristic of modern institutions and involving techniques such as surveillance normalisation classification and regulation: these were exactly the techniques used in the school that he studied to force African Caribbean boys into one of the two ideals or norms.

[So schools did play a part]

Surveillance was particularly applied to Black boys as teachers admitted and as experienced by the boys themselves — they were seen as potential muggers in shops, or as rejecting the norms need to be successful, especially with their hair, or of '"acting Black"' which is also a feature of their masculinity. Relations with White kids were ambiguous, as Hebdidge noticed with skinheads and Jamaican music. Hardness and hypersexuality is attractive to White youth too, although it turns into racist notions of violence or noble savagery or even 'obsessive jealousy' (177). However Black boys are active agents themselves — these discourses seem to be positive even though they are racist. Finally, Black boys 'policed each other' (178).

Normalisation often works through comparison for Foucault, a whole field with internal differentiations and rules. Again this involved the two models. Even 'harmless cultural expressions like bopping' were taken as evidence of defiance. The role of Black masculinity was often to 'contest conditions of dependency, racism and powerlessness… To recuperate some degree of power and influence', although it is oppressive in its own right, it was also negative for the self-esteem of conformists 'who paid a heavy price for trying "to make it"' (179).

Exclusion was particularly relevant because it defined the pathological as opposed to the normal. It shades off into othering. One teacher shifted responsibility from teachers entirely onto the subculture of the boys [an extreme 'accuracy' claim — this teacher was African Caribbean herself and talked about the obsession with trying to prove that teachers and schools are racist, and their misunderstanding of their own culture — this is the teacher, not Sewell himself!]. Violence and aggression was often the main reason for exclusion, frequently involving interpretation of the school rules. Some teachers thought there were too many exclusions for '"petty matters"' [a teacher].

Classification. There is a danger of adding to the pathology of African Caribbean boys, simply by studying them, giving them a label, and there is also the issue of offering them special knowledge or curricula. The term African Caribbean was sometimes positive, but nearly always negative, even with a Black head teacher, nearly always used in the context of discipline or suspicion. Sometimes Black boys was seen as an endangered species, although sometimes they actually outperformed White boys in exam results — this is often not recognised in studies who do not record all successes of African Caribbean boys who do not get excluded. Some figures show White boys are just as disillusioned although they do not believe, and effect of class as well as race. Nevertheless, most people who left this particular school went on to CFE rather than onto the street. The curriculum 'does not try to relate knowledge to the experiences of the boys '(181), but rather to preserve the hierarchy of knowledge with standard Eurocentric curriculum at the top, and this caused annoyance with one kid who was tired of seeing White faces especially in his history texts.

Distribution. In this school mixed ability teaching was operated without streaming at least until year 10 where there was grouping by ability in maths and English. Nevertheless there were internal racial divides, including seating plans [not necessarily teacher initiated — Black kids liked to be at the back of the class except where teachers were perceived to be supportive]. PE lessons were particularly expressive here, with slight evidence of [side tracking], although there was also a claim that PE teachers could get to know the boys better on an informal level and to break down some of the barriers. Playgrounds also distributed bodies differently: football was dominated by Black boys, while White boys often left the school, sometimes to truant, and Asian boys like to play hand tennis, chase, play computer games. Asian boys were interested in football and liked it during organised PE sessions, but they were not permitted to play with the African Caribbean boys — one Black kid had a low opinion of them as not tough enough. This was reciprocated by the Asian kids who saw Black kids are superior in terms of 'athleticism and sexuality' (184) and also as the best fighters. These are examples of where students 'buy into negative images of the other', and these are often substantial generalisations.

Individualisation and totalisation. Black students seem to have experienced no extra pressure from teachers and peers to act according to stereotypes. There was '"individualisation/totalisation" powerplay' at work (185) where students 'assigned to certain behaviours as acting White and others as acting Black'. For example acting White revealed itself in speech (talking proper avoiding Street accents, using big words), music (listening to White music including rock): dress (avoiding training shoes always wearing school uniform or shoes from Clarks), school (sucking up, grovelling, getting good grades and always doing your work, but also bunking off lessons), other behaviours (dating White girls only, having lots of White friends, acting stuck up, all speaking like Trevor McDonald). So most these acts conformist, and their opposite Black acting rebellious. There is also dual masculinity tied to these extremes McDonald and Yard.

Regulation, specifically coding incidents of various kinds so as to control them by rules or restrictions, sanctions or rewards. The majority of African Caribbean boys were excluded not for breaking explicit rules but for less explicit crimes — 'violent and disruptive behaviour' for example (186). A 'key' part in this was played by teacher perceptions, but African Caribbean boys were the main culprits, 'techniques of power which had regulating effects.. This put Black boys in a double bind and made them the subject of a surplus amount of disciplinary power justified by the 'imagined perception of Black masculinity', 'false imaginings'. These are also linked to the constructions of the self, however.

Chapter 9 Towards Solutions: practical strategies for teachers and students

The practices of both teachers and students need attention and both need to reflect on themselves. Teachers need to look at their racialised and sexualised perceptions and Black boys need to look at normative notions of masculinity 'that act as an oppressive and repressive agent on their schooling' (187). These two negative forces are in conflict. Similarly teachers blame the victim. Approaches might be subdivided into those that can be taken by schools, teachers and students, but mostly the focus is on students — attitudes on race have been tackled by other authors including Mac an Ghaill. He has drawn on good classroom practice and in-service training, although there are no universal answers.

In terms of school and policy issues, we need to move beyond tokenistic policies and elastic and symbolic concepts and overcome the silence about racism. We need to address complexity and instability and individual differences, micro-politics. The whole school must be involved to avoid contamination by the 'symbolic antiracism of the left and the destructive responses of the new right' (189). Euphemisms like 'diversity' need to be avoided, and the focus should be on social justice. A working party of students and teachers, working together and separately to develop policy, the full range of communities being represented 'including the White working class', avoiding the tendency, noted in the Burnage Report, to always cast them as the villains. There should be research and review.

There should also be conflict resolution programs using a variety of strategies, where the disputants work among themselves and where a mediator might be involved. Participants try to summarise the other's position to ensure a full understanding and then go on to accept differences and pursue creative problem-solving and learning from experience, maybe even role-playing. A model of a resolution program appears on pages 191 – 2, and it spreads into school subjects. It should be used to address non-violent situations, routine confrontations and be launched after proper training.

There should be curriculum policy and planning initiatives to erase stigma, a key factor to accompany all the other things like poverty and social isolation. Vulnerabilities should be reduced by '"wiseness" — by seeing value and acting on it' (192), in the Goffman sense of the wise who can deal with the stigmatised and grant them full humanity. The usual offer of assimilation is not adequate since it involves too many sacrifices of being Black. Instead some particulars of Black life and culture must be presented in the mainstream curriculum itself, and this might have benefit for White people too. It might be that all subjects in the curriculum could incorporate an African Caribbean perspective [and he tries one on 194 – looks pretty good and comprehensive, the most detailed yet]:

suggestions for a

Teachers have faced attacks on their professionalism and ability to maintain standards and need no more criticism, but they do need advice about how to be more effective. This might involve action or practitioner research and development days focusing on equal opportunity and race. One session involved focus on the exclusion of African Caribbean boys for example which involved an exercise asking them to try and maximise factors that excluded African Caribbean boys, and they listed some obvious negative factors. Some said it was not far away from what actually happened. All agreed that the whole school would need to benefit, not just Black boys, and there should be additional policies like conflict resolution.

There has been work on teacher attitudes involving self reflection focusing on deeper issues 'that are generally, at best, hidden by slogans' (196). There is no master narrative enclosing identities, for Blacks or Whites, and essentialism needs to be deconstructed and redefined. Hardiman and Jackson (1996) identified six assumptions or constructs about identity and proposed to deconstruct each one of them, for example passive acceptance of normalised knowledge (197 – 8) [ see below]. One goal was to see 'a distinction between the idea of 'White" as a visible "racial" type and as a way of thinking and acting in the world' (198) which opens a political choice which might be to refuse to act White. New coalitions and allegiances might result. The scheme might be anglicised by getting people to think about what it means to be English. [Some PowerPoint type slides follow on pages 200 and 201].

Students must be involved, including White working class boys. They must understand White privilege and power, but it makes no sense to moralise about White power in ways which make no sense of them. Les Back is useful here — he got some youths to categorise a racist identity and then to discuss each category. They included things like statements about local racist folklore or national racist discourse on the one hand, and close friendships with Black peers on the other. They identified three factors in the social construction of Whiteness: a privileged relation to dominant groups such as the '"old boy network"'; a standpoint where Whiteness or the White family is seen as the ideal unit; a set of cultural practices, for example linking nationalism to being White (203). If these are challenged, 'the sense of knowing who you are racially collapses', and many White children can 'take on the characteristics of other cultural groups', as in the 'mass appropriation of Black youth subculture', although this might be only a partial answer.
For Black boys, the categories in Hardiman and Jackson can also be used. For example they can recognise passive acceptance as the internalisation of negative images of themselves, active acceptance in the form of acting White, passive resistance, active resistance, redefinition demands which includes demands to rethink Black masculinity, and internalisation, following decolonisation of the mind, 'understanding how racism is connected with other oppressions. It may even require making coalitions with other groups, be they racial or gender groups' (204). In the latter case Black nationalism and Black pride was rejected but also some of the Enlightenment categories such as the mind-body split and 'uncritical reportage in learning and play' in favour of a more creative stance. This was helped by focusing on the life of major Black figures such as Malcom X. There are problems with 'clarity of expression and… a different register' with these examples, however.

Exploring popular culture, such as reflecting about gangster lifestyle. This happened if one of the rapper heroes failed, although it was usually compensated for by honouring the hero for his street credibility. However Tupac Shakur had actually given up his gangster lifestyle, a blow for the normal romanticised and celebrated version. Rappers claim to be just reporting reality rather than creating a fantasy world. Shakur denounced it as fake, a pretence, a form of ego recovery, a new perception of Black masculinity, a realisation that Black nationalism is restrictive. Arthur Ashe said the same, and urged his daughter to make friends with a variety of people and not just Black ones.

The particular task is to translate Black culture into a notion that it is okay to be good in school, and is not just acting White. It requires a desire and a confidence about the identity without restricting it to a narrow nationalism. An American academic gives an account of how he escaped his early restriction in the need to be affirmed by his racial peers, and how he eventually came to '"intellectual maturity"' as a matter of becoming free from the views of his brothers and the demands they placed on him. This is a hard project, with risks of rejection, but a personal identity wholly dependent case is restricting, just as any nationalistic image is [although the academic he quotes gets a bit Disney and talks about the '"indwelling spirit"' that needs to be liberated].

Teachers need to help kids develop these possibilities, especially that physicality is not everything, as Shakur again confirmed. So far, the task of healing has been left to 'what Gramsci calls the organic intellectuals, such as Bob Marley and the radical tradition in rap music' (210), and there are similar trends in feminism, especially to avoid the mind/body split. The approach needs to be applied in mainstream institutions as well however, in the form of general 'emancipatory teaching'.

The issue of respect is important. Black people need to show it at home and demand it on the street, sometimes leading them to petty crime to keep the respect of friends, again as part of masculinity. The Runnymede report of 1996 confirmed that a demand for respect can lead to a reputation as a troublemaker, if teachers are insensitive or undermine student, sometimes with racism. Sewell recommends instead careful listening, respecting personal space, using friendly gestures, using preferred names, getting on their level physically rather than standing over them, asking questions, dealing with problem behaviour in private and avoiding negative comments especially on cultural styles. Students need to learn there is more than respect through appropriate behaviour, and he provided them with a number of situations where they had to think of different appropriate responses [213 – 4].

Black mentors or role models have been considered but with 'mixed results' (214). One scheme launched by Diane Abbott involved inviting a successful African-American who suggested that there was a link with single parent families and predominantly female teachers — a requirement for males. Teachers resisted, on the grounds that this was over simple and 'dangerously sexist' they also overlooked ethnographic evidence [including his own 1995 PhD] where exclusion rates were equivalent regardless of single or two-parent families. Boys did not discriminate between women and men teachers but rather good and bad classroom teaching. It is individual attention that seems to be important, not race of the mentors. A pilot scheme is needed, and we can expect that it would be just as successful with female classroom assistants.

There are also explanations that talk of racial pathologies. These are been inverted and have 'turned the so-called victim into a suffering saint — what I call the "Supervic"' (216). This is been fuelled by Afrocentrism, the influences of the Nation of Islam, and certain sub genres of rap. They all offer an oppositional edge parts they are also 'very male centred' and propose 'pseudo-solutions which further marginalise and disparage Black women' [further pursued with some writings on Afrocentrism, — quite good pointing to its patriarchal nature]

'In fact it is the lofty position of "race" that has become an additional burden for many students' (217), if they perceive themselves as super victims. Kids in Township were asked to list the factors that would exclude them most and they put ineffective teachers and boring lessons at the top and did not directly mention race until number four. Race is important but not 'in isolation from several other factors' (218) [this is exactly what the YMCA study should have done. Township kids also mentioned being picked on because of their hairstyle, but this was number four behind boring lessons, inconsistent teachers and teachers who couldn't control their classes]. Black boys struggle against flawed solutions. Those who cope best have 'survival moves beyond racist narrow provincialism'.

Ball warns against avoiding the messiness of schools and its complexities. Sewell is not suggesting that any of these policies will work on their own, but he does insist that tensions between schooling and African Caribbean boys 'can be resolved' in the name of social justice, but only after White, and many Black teachers 'come to terms with their own racial identity development', and stop blaming the victims. African Caribbean boys also need to develop their racial identity aiming for dignity and self esteem, ego recovery, not being 'host to their own oppression' (219).

In conclusion, we have to remember that masculinity and schooling offer complex issues bearing on schoolboys under the age of 16 who are the responsibility of parents and their state. Both teacher attitudes and peer group pressure 'compels children to adopt certain normative values', and in this school 'the process was racialised'. The peer group has both positive and negative, conveying new vibrant Black culture and a flawed perception, offering only rebellion never conformity and creativity.

Teachers were too preoccupied with their own survival and failed to address race and sexuality. They did not see education as emancipatory, overcoming repression, but instead focused on control and exclusion. The largest category was the irritated who were unable to understand their own perplexity and could not see 'how their own practice could lead to racist stereotyping', or how they were 'instrumental in the formation of dominant discourses'. They were left only with policing students. They criticised the family 'for its lack of patriarchy. They had no notion of teaching and learning as a dialogue. Overall, 'teacher racism in Township School was complex and contextual' [with the classic example of the head taking a punitive attitude to hairstyles from Caribbean idealism, while the boys themselves had 'reappropriated many Black masculine stereotypes' (220).]

There were many 'phallocentrism responses' from the boys, who had 'contested their feelings of powerlessness' through them. Conformist boys were seen as sexually deficient or unmasking. The rebels rejected ideal pupils as defined by the head and his deputy, rejecting the discipline of the school but also poor standards of teaching and cynical teachers.

Black young men have to face racist discourses and structures in school and deal with the likelihood of unemployment afterwards. 'The responses varied and complex. Surviving modern schooling has indeed become an art for these boys'. Some have conformed 'have sold their souls in the process', others have turned to rebelliousness and phallocentrism 'that has lost touch with their minds and inner selves'. This kind of powerplay needs to be recognised.